Much to the surprise of no one, 20th Century Fox and Bryan Singer have officially parted ways.
The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop, revealing that Singer is no longer attached to direct Bohemian Rhapsody, the musical biopic about the life and legacy of Freddie Mercury, after his erratic behavior allegedly brought production to a standstill late last week.
Filming on the starry pic, which sees Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek as the late Queen frontman, was expected to resume after Thanksgiving. But Singer’s “unexpected unavailability” meant cinematographer Thomas Newton Sigel was forced to assume directorial duties for a number of days, leaving Fox with little choice but to remove Bryan Singer from his post.
This decision comes off the back of numerous reports of escalating tension between Singer and Rami Malek, who voiced his concerns to Fox about the filmmaker’s “unreliability and unprofessionalism.” At one point, Tom Hollander, who plays Queen manager Jim Beach, walked out altogether due to Singer’s behavior, only to return at a later date…after some convincing. All parties allegedly settled their differences prior to Thanksgiving, but when Bryan Singer didn’t return to set after the holiday, Fox was left with no choice.
Fox’s official statement on the matter refrains from mentioning specifics (“Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody“), though one source claims the director is now “suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the tensions on the set.”
This is by no means the first time that Singer’s behavior has been called into question. Over the past decade, multiple sexual assault allegations have been made against the former X-Men director – Jessica Chastain, for instance, recently highlighted past accusations lodged against Bryan Singer – though there’s been no mention of any fresh allegations at press time.
Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox is hoping to keep its high-profile Queen biopic on track for a December 2018 release, and insiders claim that the studio has already begun casting the net in search of a replacement. Word is that Bohemian Rhapsody has another two weeks left of principal photography, before entering a lengthy post-production process. This is on top of potential reshoots, so this is by no means an easy gig.
As things stand, Bohemian Rhapsody will light up theaters on December 25th, 2018, and we’ll notify you if and when that changes.